“The Christmas we will experience at the Ark Village will be more intimate and more family-friendly than usual. In past years, the month of December represented a very eventful period, because many benefactors and friends came to visit and support us. This year, due to the Covid-19 containment measures, which mainly concern structures frequented by children, everything takes place in a restricted manner, with few and short accesses granted to outside guests. However, this does not decrease people’s generosity. We are currently receiving a great deal of aid”.
This is what Fr. Guido Trezzani, Director of Caritas Kazakhstan and missionary in the “Ark Village” reception community in Talgar, near Almaty, tells Fides News Agency.
The guests of the Village, explains the missionary, continue to benefit from distance learning courses, in the midst of many difficulties: “The poor quality of resources, the technical problems and the technological unpreparedness of the teachers are making these months of distance learning very difficult. We continue, therefore, to seek alternative forms of teaching, in order to provide both our people and potential external participants with alternative content to those provided by the school. Another problem linked to distance learning is not only learning that worsens but also the human and social factor. Our young people are surely less affected than the others because they have the possibility of socializing among themselves, but each one has personal friends in their own classes and this lack is felt”.
The Village team continues to work on several fronts: “Recently, we obtained a license from civil institutions allowing us to provide the human and psychological training necessary for couples applying for the adoption of children. In this case, too, the work is carried out online and continues with great intensity. In addition, we are currently working on a series of projects which can, on the one hand, support and improve activities in the village and, on the other hand, set up productive and self-financing activities, as we had done in the past with the construction of a greenhouse”, concludes the missionary.
Founded on June 1, 2000, the Village generally hosts about 70 children, orphans, or families at risk, including about 30 physically and mentally handicapped. Since 2007, a medical center has been built within the structure which has a dental, a radiological, and a physiotherapy clinic. The first steps of the project date back to 1997, with the reception of children from a state orphanage in the process of being closed. Today, young people from families destroyed by violence or alcoholism are also welcomed.